Jan 13 foods

I am kicking things off this week with a light soup on Sunday evening. Butternut squash is in season, and it’s so easy to cook them. Normally, I like to roast butternut squash and then add them to roasted onions and garlic and then transform it into a soup. In a time crunch though, I cook the squash. It’s great for a cool evening and especially nice if you indulged in a big lunch. It pairs well with feta/sour cream as it gives it a sharp kick. Somedays, I go with a curried version of the same.

Monday

  • Breakfast – gorilla milk
  • Lunch – Farro salad with bell peppers
  • Dinner – Bodybuilding.com tofu with white rice, steamed veggies
  • Snacks – Grapes, cherries, fat-free milk

The farro salad is one of our weekday meals. It’s rather easy to make, has plenty of flavor and texture. It’s quite filling too! I use Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe and make the serving size big to work for an entree – https://ottolenghi.co.uk/recipes/farro-and-roasted-red-pepper-salad. I normally reduce the amount of olive oil to fit my needs. I usually follow this up with greek yogurt for extra protein. Time-saver tip: Roast multiple bell peppers for meal prep and try to include multiple meals that use them. Another option is to buy ready roasted and deskinned bell peppers (big jars are available at Costco). 

Since my lunch is lower on protein, my dinner has more protein and fat with tofu. The extra firm type of tofu has more protein and is generally denser. I recall a recipe on Bodybuilding.com for tofu. Here’s what I remember and use – 1 block of tofu lightly fried (a good non-stick pan will help with less oil). Keep this sauce ready – .25 cup each of low sodium soy sauce & unpacked brown sugar, a little sesame seed oil (quantity depending on your taste), 2 garlic cloves minced, 1 inch of ginger minced, chili flakes. Once the tofu is fried and ready, add the sauce on low heat. The sauce thickens up well, and the tofu is coated with it. Serve with white rice and steamed veggies. Time-saver tip: Use a bag of frozen vegetables in a pinch.

I plan on enjoying all the bounty I brought home this week. So many fruits, so little time!

Tuesday

  • Breakfast – gorilla milk
  • Lunch – Farro salad with bell peppers (repeat!)
  • Dinner – Vegetarian enchiladas
  • Snacks – Fat-free milk, Quest protein bar

I plan on repeating the same lunch as Monday. I will add the green onions the night before or the morning of. Pack the dressing on the side, ditto with feta. Heat up the farro with bell peppers, add everything else and toss it in a bowl (or your lunch box).

I’m excited about enchiladas for dinner. I will use https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/vegetarian-enchiladas to make them. It has all my favorites – pinto beans, spicy sauces, tortilla, and cheese. My adjustments are reducing the amount of oil and using part-skim cheeses. Time-saver tip: Use ready salsa verde instead of making it depending on the time you have on hand. I don’t expect to have a whole lot of time this week to make the salsa. Of course, fresh homemade salsa will be waaay better, but if you want flavor, variety and time for everything else in life, I’m not at all averse to taking a few shortcuts.

Given my distribution of macros for meals, my snacks will be mainly to hit my protein goals for the day.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast – gorilla milk
  • Lunch – Vegetarian enchiladas (repeat!)
  • Dinner – Bodybuilding.com tofu with white rice, steamed veggies
  • Snacks – Fat-free milk, Quest protein bar, cherries

Both my meals are repeats from Monday and Tuesday. I doubt the enchiladas will taste as good on day 2. But hey, I’m not tossing out good enchiladas because the form factor may not be great. For dinner, I will either go with the same tofu or switch it up to ready to use Hodo Soy’s Moroccan tofu with Israeli Couscous instead.

Thursday

  • Breakfast – gorilla milk
  • Lunch – Chickpea stew
  • Dinner – Baingan Bartha with rice/chapatis and greek yogurt
  • Snacks – Fat-free milk, Quest protein bar

Garbanzo beans/chickpeas are a favorite at home (well, I cook for the most part, so you know who loves it). I keep this one simple. Saute onions with garlic, salt, and pepper. Add garbanzo beans, a whole lot of broth, cinnamon, smoked paprika, chopped tomatoes. I let it cook for a long, long time. I add a dollop of Greek yogurt, and sometimes pesto/chutney if I feel like it. This is a filling meal! Time-saver tip: You can buy both garbanzo beans and chopped tomatoes ready in a can.

Many will dispute baingan bhartha is oversimplified with what we make. But I love it for the depth of flavor and ease of making. So that’s that. We normally buy giant eggplants and broil them on high for 20 mins on top and bottom. Let them sit, and scoop out the flesh. In a large pan, fry onions, garlic, and whole cumins. Next, add chopped tomatoes and cook for a bit. Add turmeric, salt. Add the eggplant flesh and mix all. Add lemon juice, garam masala and, salt. Top with chopped cilantro. Have with either chapatis/naan or rice.

Friday

  • Breakfast – gorilla milk
  • Lunch – Eat out!
  • Dinner – Baingan Bartha with rice/chapatis and greek yogurt
  • Snacks – Quest protein bar

I try to keep my planned meals and snacks light so that my meal outside is less restricted.

The best part of this week? No calories for my coffee. It’s truly so liberating as I don’t need to worry about the extra calories in cream/milk and sugar. I hope you have a great week ahead!

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